Air America: Rush Is Right On Fairness Doctrine

The founder of liberal talk radio network Air America, Jon Sinton, says Rush Limbaugh is right when it comes to opposition to the controversial Fairness Doctrine, and sides with the conservative talk radio icon against the anti-free speech legislation.

“I believe that for the last eight years Rush Limbaugh and his ilk have been cheerleaders for everything wrong with our economic, foreign and domestic policies,” Sinton writes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday. “But when it comes to the Fairness Doctrine, I couldn’t agree with them more. The Fairness Doctrine is an anachronistic policy that, with the abundance of choices on radio today, is entirely unnecessary.”

Sinton credits Limbaugh for making what AM radio is today, and disagrees with fellow liberals who whine that Limbaugh would have flopped if the 1987 repealing of the Fairness Doctrine had not happened. Instead, Sinton argues Limbaugh’s success lies in his strength as “a superior entertainer”.

Sinton also opines that liberal talk radio shows flopped because most were “boring” and successful entertainers like Mike Malloy were out of place in a conservative line-up. In addition, most top radio station brass hold a conservative Republican perspective (which does not explain the ratings success of ultra-liberal Lynn Samuels on conservative bastion WABC in New York City during the late 80’s and 90’s, or how liberal Howard Stern transcended radio into the American consciousness at the height of his success).

Instead of re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine, Sinton concludes, market forces and free speech should let American consumers decide on what they want to hear. If you don’t want to listen to Limbaugh, listen to Air America, says Sinton.

2 comments

  • I’m really more worried about Hate Speech legislation that the Fairness Doctrine coming back.

    The Democrats have been introducing Hate Speech legislation into congress from sometime now, and it’s always been killed. But last year, with a Democrat majority in congress, it finally made its way into the Senate. It was only after Bush came out saying he would veto the legislation did the Senate kill it.

    Now, with Democrats running the show all around, it’s very likely that it will pass into law.

    What the Dems will do is use this Fairness Doctrine as a round-robin attack to get Hate Speech through. The Republicans, worried sick that they will lose their financial investments because of The Fairness Doctrine, will support Hate Speech legislation as a compromise with Democrats. After all, who can support “Hate”?

    While I’m against both because they are both violations of The First Amendment, the Hate Speech legislation is more of a threat to America than the Fairness Doctrine because Hate Speech will be used against all of us, whereas The Fairness Doctrine will be used only against select broadcasters.

    Kudos to John Sinton for making this stand.

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